Who Is Jesus Devo: The Fruit of Repentance S1 E9
"He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance, for the forgiveness of sins.” - Luke 3:3
“John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 9 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” - Luke 3:7-9
There is no true Christianity without deep, genuine, life-changing repentance. “Life-changing repentance” is actually a redundant phrase. The very meaning of repentance is to “turn” from sin to God; to “change” ones mind, heart, and life. The call to repent is the clear message of the prophets of old, John the Baptist, and our Lord himself. Without the repentance of sin, there is no forgiveness received or applied.
A First Time But Not a One Time
Have you repented? Have you repented lately? Have you repented today? The reality is, in the Christian life, there is a first time for repentance, but it is not a one time act. There is the initial repentance for salvation and forgiveness and then there is a continual ongoing repentance for growth and sanctification and the refreshing of our relationship with Jesus.
“When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said “Repent,” he intended that the entire life of believers should be repentance.” - Martin Luther
Especially Religious Sins
Many in John’s crowd were very religious…the sadducees and pharisees and teachers of the law. And like Jesus after him, John’s harshest words and strongest call to repent was reserved for the “religious”. They relied on their heritage or their knowledge or their pedigree. Yet their lives were filled with sins of greed, pride, lust and abuse of power. They failed to bear the fruit of genuine repentance that flows from the hearts of broken, humbled sinners. The fruit of generosity, honesty, compassion, justice, humility, and purity were not present and there in lies a great danger for those who claim to follow Jesus.
How are your branches? Can you see fruit? Can others see fruit? Let us pray… “Lord Jesus, thank you for your servant John, who still speaks and calls me to repentance. Help me see myself rightly and come humbly and often to the place of repentance that I might bear its true fruit for Your name’s sake. Amen.”